Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Greek 7-Footer Georgios Papagiannis Could Make Decision Soon
Georgios Papagiannis, a 7-foot-1 center from Greece, is closing in on a decision about his future plans and could make a commitment in the next few months.
“It sounds like the kid is going to make a decision in June,” one American college assistant involved in his recruitment told SNY.tv. “I think he’s going to get over [to the U.S.] and make some visits. Between now and June he’s going to come over for some visits.”
St. John’s, Temple, Oregon, N.C. State, UConn and Kentucky are among the schools in the mix for the Greek 7-footer who turns 18 in July. Some schools may also go visit Papagiannis later this month.
“I know some schools are trying to go over,” the assistant said. “St. John’s is gonna go over. [Chris] Mullin doesn’t know the kid and wants to get to know him.”
Former St. John’s coach Steve Lavin was recruiting Papagiannis as well.
The 7-foot-1 Papagiannis signed a multi-year deal with Greek champion Panathinaikos but has the option to return to the States this summer.
While playing last summer in the U17 FIBA Championships, he averaged 8.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in seven games. Against the United States, he went for 16 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists.
Playing a year up in the U18 European Championship, he averaged 5.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in limited minutes.
“He’s really good,” the assistant said. “If he can adjust to college, he can be first-round draft pick after one year. He’s got to adjust.”
During his time at Westtown (Pa.), head coach Seth Berger told SNY.tv that Papagiannis “is a top five, one-and-done, 2016 pick.”
Berger added: “He’s a really unique player. He’s 7-1, 250 pounds. Incredibly coordinated. Jumps well, shoots well, dribbles well, passes well, has really good post work and he just turned 16 in July.”
Berger continued: “Usually kids this size, this young, can’t run up and down the court. Forget he catches alley-oops and can reverse them. He’s got a super-high basketball IQ, incredibly motivated. And he’s really smart.
“His weaknesses are on the defensive end he needs to be able to grab rebounds out of his area and he needs to stay out of foul trouble. But when he wants to, he’s a great rim protector.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.